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Addressing Homelessness

The City of Tustin is committed to addressing the homelessness crises affecting our community. 

November 21, 2018

The City Council has continued Agenda Item #11- DDA Agreement with Jamboree Housing Corp, until the first quarter of 2019. As such, there will NOT be any community meetings on November 29 or December 3 and they will be rescheduled. 

November 20, 2018

This morning we received the attached letter from Jamboree Housing Corporation requesting a continuance to December 4, 2018, of Agenda item #11 (Disposition and Development Agreement with JHC-Acquisitions LLC AKA Jamboree Housing Corporation for Parcel 1A South at Tustin Legacy), as listed on the November 20, 2018 City Council Agenda. Staff supports this request.

Jamboree Housing Corporation would like to host a community meeting to discuss the proposed project on November 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and on December 3, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Tustin Community Center at the Market Place located at 2961 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92782.

Please click on the link to view Agenda Item #11 as listed on the November 20, 2018 City Council Agenda : http://www.tustinca.org/cityhall/agendas/default.asp

Jamboree Housing Corporation Request for Continuance 11.20.2018.pdf

November 15, 2018

The City of Tustin has just received an “announcement”, by way of a Media Advisory, that Santa Ana will be opening a new interim homeless shelter today at 2320 Red Hill Avenue in Santa Ana.  This was not a press release but rather an invitation to the media only to tour the facility today.  While it has been widely known that Santa Ana was planning a new interim 200-bed shelter within their City, Santa Ana has not disclosed the location until today. 

Despite the shelter being located on the border of the City of Tustin, Santa Ana has not consulted the City of Tustin about the proposed location and there have been no public hearings in Santa Ana to approve a shelter at the location.  Upon receiving this “media advisory”, we immediately requested information from the City of Santa Ana about the new facility, the plans for its manner of operation, and the security measures that are planned there.  This information will be shared on the City’s website as it becomes available.

Media Advisory- Santa Ana Open Emergency Homeless Shelter.pdf

November 13, 2018

At the City of Tustin’s last City Council meeting, the City Council considered, and ultimately made the difficult decision to authorize, the conversion of City-owned structures into a temporary shelter for unsheltered individuals at 15445 Lansdowne Road in the City of Tustin.  The shelter must be operational by February 23, 2019 pursuant to the City’s recent Federal settlement agreement. 

Since the announcement of the proposed shelter on October 25, the City has received a wide range of comments, ranging from support to concern to disbelief to anger.  The large majority of responses have been in support of helping the homeless; however, the most resounding issue has related to the planned shelter’s proximity to Heritage Elementary School.

Despite the extra safety precautions and use of best practices with a successful operator, we are seriously reevaluating potential alternate temporary locations that would relocate the shelter away from the school as soon as possible.  Since the City is still required to create an operational shelter by February 23rd, preparation for the authorized shelter must still proceed but the City’s intent is for it to remain open for as short a period of time as possible until an alternate location can be operational.  

The City Council has also directed staff to initiate outreach to solicit public input regarding the long-term location of the homeless shelter.  As a result, the City Manager’s office will soon be forming a task force to assist in the selection of the long-term location as soon as possible.   The task force will be comprised of roughly 10-15 community members representing residents and other constituents throughout the City of Tustin.  More information regarding the upcoming task force will be forthcoming in the near future.

Please continue to visit http://www.tustinca.org/cityhall/services/homelessness.asp for updates regarding the proposed shelter and the topic of homelessness in Tustin.

 

November 5, 2018 - Town Hall Meeting Handout of FAQ

 

1.         Q.  What type of shelter must Tustin create?

A.  A minimum 50-bed, emergency homeless shelter facility that is ADA accessible and serves homeless men, women, and families from within Tustin only.  Other cities will not be able to bring their homeless individuals to Tustin’s shelter.  The facility’s primary focus is assisting program participants with creating a housing plan, making connections to housing resources and finding transitional and permanent housing as soon as possible. 

2.         Q.   What security measures will be in place to safeguard our children and  community?

A.  The safety of our children and community are of the upmost importance and at the center of all decisions regarding how the facility will operate.  The City and the planned operator, Orange County Rescue Mission, feel confident with the proposed safety and security elements that the Tustin community, and most importantly, the children of Heritage Elementary, will be safe and secure:    

·         This will not be a “walk-up” facility.  Admission will be referral only and the facility team will coordinate client transportation to and from the facility before any clients travel to or exit from the property.

·         The proposed facility will be entirely fenced-off, including a new secure, screened fence connecting the two buildings along Lansdowne Road, and screening along the existing fencing along Red Hill and Valencia Avenues. 

·         24-hour, interior and exterior security (security guards, cameras, gate access controls, etc.) will enforce a strict, zero tolerance policy prohibiting loitering around the facility.  Individuals exiting the facility must have a pre-arranged transportation plan. 

·         A network of high-definition video security, with 24-hour, on-site monitoring of all interior and exterior doors and gates.  All gates will be locked, access controlled, and contain audible alarms. 

·         The proposed facility will be in operation 24-hours per day, with onsite programming focused on helping the individuals obtain housing and become self-sufficient again.  Unlike some homeless facilities in the County, clients will not be required to gather up all of their belongings, leave the facility, head out into the surrounding community, and then line back up when it reopens each day. 

·         The Tustin Police Homeless Liaison Officer and Homeless Coalition Task Force will be based at the facility, resulting in direct coordination with the Orange County Rescue Mission, the Tustin Police Department, and the County of Orange.

·         There will be strict hours of ingress and egress during the night and during sensitive school hours.  The City will continue to coordinate with the Tustin Unified School District regarding facility access during certain sensitive times when students are entering or exiting Heritage Elementary. 

·         The City will restore the pedestrian access route along the northern edge of Veterans Sports Park from Severyns Road to the rear gate of Heritage Elementary as soon as possible.

3.         Q.  Exactly where is the proposed temporary homeless shelter facility location?

A.  The temporary facility is proposed to be within roughly three-quarters of the buildings at the former Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) buildings at the northeast corner of Red Hill and Valencia Avenues.  A conceptual shelter facility layout is depicted in Figure 1 below. 


Figure 1 Conceptual Shelter Facility Layout

4.         Q. Why must Tustin create a temporary homeless shelter?

A.  So that Tustin may continue to use its anti-camping and park closure ordinances to protect public safety and public health, and to avoid costly lawsuits. 

Recently the City of Tustin, as well as all other Orange County cities, were sued in Federal Court in an effort to address the lack of emergency shelter beds for the homeless in Tustin and Orange County.  The City of Tustin entered into a settlement to help keep our City safe.  As other nearby cities settle their lawsuits, those cities will be able to enforce their own ordinances with the potential to affect surrounding cities.

In addition, last month the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with six homeless individuals in Boise, Idaho over an ordinance that banned people from sleeping in public spaces.  That decision requires the immediate availability of shelter beds at the time a city goes to enforce such laws.  In essence, the Ninth Circuit said that it is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment to punish an individual for sleeping or loitering in parks, tents or homeless encampments if there is no bed available for them to go to.

5.         Q.  When must Tustin create a homeless shelter?

A.  Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Tustin must have a shelter operational within 120 days, that is, February 23, 2019.

6.       Q.  Is this a "walk-up" facility?

A. NO.  This program will operate with a strict no-walk-up policy and by referral only.  Clients without personal vehicles must coordinate a transportation plan to and from the shelter. 

7.         Q.  If this is not a “walk-up” facility, how does someone gain access?

A.  When the Tustin Police Department or the City’s Consultant, City Net, encounter homeless individuals or families within Tustin, those individuals are then offered a bed.  If they accept the offer and pass the screening process (no sex offenders and no one with a felony warrant will be allowed at the facility) and an appropriate bed is determined to be available, they are transported to the main entrance.  The referring party escorts them into the building and through the intake process.  Those that are already staying there and who desire to enter or exit the facility may only do so through pre-arranged transportation.

Upon an individual’s refusal of a bed, the Tustin Police Department may begin enforcement of anti-camping, park hour and similar ordinances.  

8.         Q.  Who can use the facility?

A.  The facility will serve homeless men, women, and families from within the City of Tustin.  One building is proposed to accommodate men and one to accommodate women and families. 

 

9.         Q.  Are sex offenders or people with felony warrants permitted to stay?

A.  NO.  Prior to becoming eligible for coming to the facility, all prospective clients will be screened off-site for open felony warrants and status as a registered sex offender.  If the client has an open felony warrant or is a registered sex offender, they are not eligible and will not be transported to the facility.  Those with open felony warrants will be arrested. 

10.       Q.  Are drugs, alcohol, or weapons allowed within the facility?

A.  NO.

11.       Q.  What exactly does temporary mean?

A.  In this case, temporary means that the facility will be in this location for a temporary period.  This is not the long-term homeless shelter solution for Tustin.  Once the long-term shelter is open, this temporary facility will close.  Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the City of Tustin is required to start operating a shelter within 120 days and to operate a homeless shelter for a minimum of 24 months. 

The City of Tustin is continuing to design and plan the establishment of the Tustin Police Department Substation and Parks Department Annex at the former ATEP facility, which the City hopes to open in conjunction with the opening of the Veterans Sports Park.

12.       Q.  Since the shelter is an emergency shelter, how long will the individuals referred to this shelter be staying there?

Individuals may stay for up to 180 days; however, the facility’s primary day-to-day focus is assisting program participants with creating a housing plan, making connections to housing resources and moving them to transitional and permanent housing as soon as possible.

13.       Q.  Why hasn’t the City been more transparent in this process?

The City of Tustin made this announcement as soon as we could.

The City has been involved in a lawsuit in Federal Court.  While in settlement discussions, the City has been precluded from discussing its litigation and settlement strategies publicly.  The City immediately published a press release on the same day that the City signed the settlement agreement.  Given the City would be required to establish a shelter facility within 120 days of signing the agreement, it was necessary for the City to evaluate potential shelter sites at the same time the settlement discussions were on-going to accomplish that timeframe.

In addition, the City’s initial plans for settlement (which would have simply added beds to the existing facilities at the Village of Hope) were derailed by the Ninth Circuit’s decision on September 4th, and as a result, the City was forced to go back to the drawing board and develop an entirely different plan in a very compressed period of time.  The City’s proposal was presented in Federal Court two weeks later and reported in the Orange County Register on September 19th.

14.       Q.  Why doesn’t Tustin partner with a shelter in Santa Ana for the 50 beds?

The City tried to partner with Santa Ana but the Federal Court prohibited that as part of the settlement.  This stemmed from Court’s and Santa Ana’s belief that all Orange County cities were bringing their homeless to Santa Ana, and one of their objectives is to stop the flow to, and concentration in, Santa Ana of homeless individuals.

 

 

Please continue to visit http://www.tustinca.org/cityhall/services/homelessness for updates regarding the proposed shelter and the topic of homelessness in Tustin.

 



 

October 31, 2018- Town Hall Meeting Scheduled on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Elementary's Multipurpose Room 

Following the City of Tustin’s announcement on October 25, 2018 of the plan to establish a temporary shelter at the corner of Red Hill and Valencia Avenues, many members of the community have expressed  questions and concerns about the temporary shelter.  We are continuing to work through the fine details as we have yet to sign an agreement with the operator.

We recognize this is an important issue in our community.  As a parent, there is nothing more critical than the safety of our children, and there is no greater priority for the City than public safety.  As a result, all efforts are being taken to ensure public safety during this temporary period.  This is a complicated issue that stems from a growing countywide problem, with a Federal court case that has thrust communities into difficult positions with limited options, and tough timeframes.      

To be clear – the City supports the creation of an emergency bed shelter but the City also would prefer an alternate location.  However, the ATEP location is the only viable option for the City to comply with the Federal Court settlement to open a shelter within 120 days.  The City has been planning, and still intends, for the ATEP facility at Red Hill and Valencia to be the home to the Tustin Police Department and Parks Department Annex when Veterans Parks opens next year.  We remain committed to moving the emergency shelter to a different location, and this temporary facility will only remain open during the time it takes to select and transition to a long-term location.

In the meantime, the City will operate the temporary facility in a manner that protects the health and safety of our community. 

We would like to hear your questions and your ideas for a long-term shelter location in the City.  Please email those to CityManager@tustinca.org.

 And please join Mayor Murray for a Town Hall Meeting to discuss this further on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Elementary School, 15400 Lansdowne Road, in the multipurpose room.    

 

 

October 25, 2018 -   Tustin to Protect Public Safety & Public Health While Addressing Court Settlement

Recently the City of Tustin, as well as other Orange County cities, have been sued in Federal court in an effort to address the lack of emergency shelter beds for the homeless in Tustin and Orange County.  In order to protect and maintain public safety and public health in our community and to avoid costly lawsuits, the City of Tustin has agreed to enter into a settlement that will be overseen by Judge Carter in Federal court.   The agreement will allow Tustin to continue use of its anti-camping and park closure ordinances in order to protect public health and safety in Tustin.  

The City will be required to provide 50 temporary emergency shelter beds to be available within 120 days.  The facility will be operated by referral only, therefore, walk-in individuals will not be allowed.  There will be 24-hour on-site security as well.

Due to the very short time frame mandated by the court, and after review of several sites, the City has selected a temporary location on an appropriately zoned secured City property. This location is adjacent to the highly successful Village of Hope/Rescue Mission homeless shelter at the corner of Redhill and Valencia Avenues.  Because of its location and temporary nature, the City is partnering with Jim Palmer and his operation at the Village of Hope/Rescue Mission to run this facility.

We believe that having Jim Palmer’s organization managing the temporary operation will provide quality care and services in the facility and ensure minimal impact to the community.

After the facility is up and running to meet the Court’s order, and we have more information about the City’s long term needs, the City will host a Town Hall meeting to seek community input on our long term needs and requirements in addressing homelessness in Tustin.

Watch for continued updates on the City’s website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tustin City Manager’s Office

citymanager@tustinca.org

(714) 573-3010

www.facebook.com/cityoftustin

twitter.com/cityoftustin

 

July 2017 - Last summer, concerned citizens shared their concerns with staff and our City Council. As such, the City Council discussed this important issue at the July 18, 2017 City Council Meeting. 

A recorded video of the meeting, the staff agenda report as well as a PowerPoint presentation, can be found here. 

To date, Tustin has provided the following direct and indirect support to end homelessness:

Community Development  Department

The Community Development Department designates Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to provide direct financial assistance to agencies assisting the homeless population. These agencies include Mercy House Emergency Shelter, Mary’s Shelter, Human Options Transitional Housing, Olive Crest Transitional Housing, and Goodwill of Orange County. The amount of grant funding provided is approximately $27,000. Additional staff funding to administer the CDBG program and homeless services providers is approximately $10,000.00.

Police Department

Approximately 50 percent of the two (2) Tustin Police Department Community Impact Officers {CIOs) salaries are spent on homelessness issues. This is a cost of approximately
$100,000.00 annually, at minimum, for the two (2) CIOs time spent on homelessness. Even while working with the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, the CIOs have many calls that involve the homeless. This minimum cost is not including calls for service by the patrol officers on calls pertaining to homeless individuals.

Orange County Rescue Mission 

In 2015, the Tustin City Council unanimously approved the sale of 2 fourplexes to the Orange County Rescue Mission to house homeless veterans.

The overhauled fourplexes can house up to 32 veterans and their families.


Efforts in Tustin Legacy

With the closure of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin, the Homeless Assistance Plan for MCAS Tustin was adopted to address homelessness. The adopted Plan  provides sites & designated land uses to accommodate identified homeless needs. To date, the following have been provided at Tustin Legacy:

  • An approximate 5- acre transitional/emergency shelter site was set-aside for accommodation of the homeless at MCAS Tustin. The site was conveyed to the Orange County Rescue Mission at no cost and facilitated the construction of the Village of Hope, a transitional/emergency shelter facility, without the need of a discretionary approval. During 2016, the Village of Hope was authorized by the City of Tustin to increase their bed count from 192 to 387. This equates to 195 additional beds for the Village of Hope to provide for the homeless population.
  • A four (4) acre site was recommended by the City of Tustin and deeded directly by the Department of Navy at no cost to the Orange County Social Services Agency for the development of an abused and neglected children and emancipated youth facility with a 90 bed capacity. The Tustin Family Campus has been up and running for several years.
  • A total of 50 transitional housing units were originally included in the Base Reuse Plan. Based on further negotiations with non-profit homeless providers, a total of 32 brand new transitional housing units have been constructed and conveyed at no cost to non-profit homeless providers including the Salvation Army, Families Forward, Human Options and Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter.
  • The City also facilitated the purchase of a 16 unit transitional housing facility in Buena Park to be operated by the Salvation Army.

  

Additional Efforts 

The City participated in the QC Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness Implementation Group Community Forums. City staff were engaged in the discussion, evaluation, and provided input to the community forums.

The City Council has adopted numerous Housing Element policies and programs to accommodate homeless needs.

The City Council has approved and continues to provide grants to assist homeless providers.   Within the last five years, the City has provided  a total of $106,179 to homeless providers such as Laurel's House, Mercy Housing, Olive Crest, Human Option, Families Forward, etc.

Tustin has provided support and Certification for Consistency with the City's Consolidated Plan for Orange County, QC Partnership, Volunteer Center of OC, Illumination Foundation, and Families Forward Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant applications. In addition, Tustin has provided Certification for Consistency for Orange County Housing Authority Public Housing Plan.

The City participates and partners with the Orange County Section 8 voucher program by providing outreach, computer and fax access, links on City's website.  City staff is also trained to provide technical assistance as needed.

The City's Tustin Family Youth Center provides supportive services such as free daycare, food distribution, computer classes, ESL classes, etc. to the very low income families at either no cost or nominal costs.

The City of Tustin is proud to participate in the Countywide Commission to End Homelessness which goals are as follow:

  •  Facilitate understanding between cities and the Commission regarding homeless issues. Issues are to be communicated throughout Orange County.
  • Act as a "clearinghouse" to share information on activities regarding homelessness
  • Develop a standard set of definitions for shelters and affordable housing, possibly a "model ordinance" 
  • Compose regional picture of steps to be taken, identify shelters and affordable housing, etc.
 

 


 

 

 

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